Rising Wallabies star Israel Folau faces a big challenge this year according to his NSW Waratahs coach, who says the star back has plenty of improvement left.
Former rugby league international Folau enjoyed a spectacular first 12 months in the 15-man game after moving across from AFL side Greater Western Sydney Giants.
He equalled fellow dual international Lote Tuqiri's Wallaby record of 10 tries in a calendar year, playing in all 15 of Australia's 2013 Tests.
The 24-year-old back won the Super Rugby Rookie of the Year, both the Australian Rugby Union Players Association and International Rugby Players Association Newcomer of the Year and the People's Choice player of the year awards.
Played primarily as a fullback after starting his first five games on the wing, Folau quickly established a reputation for being a game breaker through his elusive running and penchant for scoring tries.
Asked how much improvement Folau had after just one year in the code, Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said "Plenty.
"I think there will be a big challenge for him this year, just adjusting from having such a massive season, a small break, backing up again.
"That's a first for him, so we're mindful in the way that we are preparing him this season, both for mental freshness and also physical.
"But his enthusiasm is ridiculous. He wanted to come back early and stat training and I had to tell him not to come.
"I think just based on that alone, and his quality, the formula is looking good going forward."
Cheika didn't rule out playing Folau at outside centre in the coming trials, though he didn't want to tinker too much.
"At this this stage he's travelling so well at 15, we're not going to play around too much," Cheika said.
Folau will however face competition for the fullback spot from fellow Wallaby Kurtley Beale, who has returned from Melbourne
Asked who he favoured between Folau and Beale for the fullback role, Cheika quipped "seven and a half each, that will make 15.
"I'll just see how it pans out. I don't have to worry about selecting the first competition game team until late in February,."
Cheika said all of his Wallabies had returned in good shape from their break and he had no injury concerns.
He wasn't concerned Springbok forward Jacques Potgieter hadn't yet joined the squad due to playing commitments in Japan.
"He keeps texting me every week, he wants to know how its going," Cheika said.
"He's very eager to get here.
"I think he's only got one match left in Japan and then he'll be here, so I'm not worried about that."